The three American citizens released by the North Korean government have touched down in Alaska, accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who negotiated their release.
“We would like to express our deep appreciation to the US government, President Trump, Secretary Pompeo, and the people of the United States for bringing us home,” the trio said in a statement released by the State Department on Wednesday evening. “We thank God, and all our families and friends who prayed for us and our return. God Bless America, the greatest nation in the world.”
Kim Hak-song and Kim Sang-duk, AKA Tony Kim, taught at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) before being accused of espionage in 2017. Kim Dong Chul was arrested in 2015.
Pompeo secured their release during the talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un about the upcoming summit with US President Donald Trump, the time and place of which is yet to be officially announced.
The flight carrying Pompeo and the three released prisoners landed in Anchorage, Alaska, for refueling. It is expected in Washington at 2:00 am local time on Thursday, with Trump tweeting that he intended to greet them personally.